either under legal obligation, or are only too proud to boast of, or boost, theirfurtherance of US state interests), on US critics of the AFL-CIO (who may or may nothave done their homework). But we have no access to the horse’s mouth, nor even tosome radical-democratic deep throat within the AFL-CIO (though here, of course,one lives in hope). In the absence of information, we have to assume that ‘reform’ of the InternationalDepartment means reform
the 'AFL-CIO-CIA' of the Cold War years.Reformists seem to consider that by re-directing some – even, who knows, all? - of the funding effort to ‘good’ unions in Latin America or Indonesia, to the Ukraine orZimbabwe, they are forwarding solidarity between US unions and workers, PoorWorld unions and workers.
The meaning of international labor solidarity
In so far as unions and workers at either end may not even
of this funding, sucha purpose can hardly be achieved. In so far as the funding relationship is in practice one between a handful of officers atboth ends, then maybe it furthers relations of trust between them. Thus, the radicalBrazilian, Kjeld Jakobsen, International Secretary of the equally radical Central Únicade Trabalhadores appears alongside Harry Kamberis (Cold War AFL-CIOapparatchik, secretive head of its Solidarity Center), when the latter promotes neo-liberal democracy, under the aegis of another US state-dependent operation, theWorldwide Movement for Democracy (2000). But this then has surely to be callednot
solidarity but something like
the international solidarity of ahandful of union officers
. The relationship can hardly be even considered solidarity if it implies a one-way flowof funding, staffing and support from one party to another. This is, at best, a‘substitution solidarity’ - one in which the ‘rich, powerful, informed, generous’ partysupports the ‘poor, weak, ignorant, needy party’. About which see either version of the 'White Man's Burden'
[Box 2, 3]
In pre-modern times this was called 'charity'. Or a patron-client relation. In modern times it was called a 'civilizing mission'. Or a patron-client relation. In high modern times it is called 'trade union development aid'. Or a patron-clientrelation